Negative emotions and Social Media During COVID-19

Emotions are a natural state of mind that are derived from a certain circumstance, mood or relationship. In the current state of the pandemic world, we are feeling a range of emotions from sadness, loneliness to anger. As humans, we are naturally inclined to share those emotions with each other. We tend to share our emotions in order to feel better and lighter. The sharing of our emotions is parts of our daily lives but it is highly prevalent during difficult and traumatic times.

The COVID-19 pandemic, being one of the most difficult and hard times for this generation, has created a similar effect as described above. The anger, sadness, and loneliness caused by isolation and lack of interaction is being released with the use of social media. Social media is not only a way to communicate with each other, but a platform from which we can experience each other’s emotions, feelings and thoughts. It has become an outlet for the world to express their feelings and emotions through a click of a button. The fear of COVID is causing people to experience anxiety and threat, they are scared to lose their loved ones and things that they value. In a peer reviewed article , a cross sectional study was done to calcule the perception of threat from covid 19 and found that there was a direct positive effect from the perceived threat of covid 19 to depression, anxiety, and anger. They also found that there was an ongoing relationship in which threat caused the presence of the negative mood which in turn caused emotions of irrational and agitation leading to a promotion of threat (Pérez-Fuentes, Jurado, Martínez, & Linares, 2020)

Even though sharing your emotions is a positive thing , the constant negative environment can lead to a worsen state of mind. The constant exposure to negative news and intense coverage of the COVID-19 virus is leading to negative impact on mental health. The negative climate on social media leads to an emotional contagion which creates a negative impact on one’s mental health. This is mostly because social media rewards emotionally charged messages.

A social psychology concept that applies to this is of social cognition. Social cognition is the study of how people remember information and then interpret that information about themselves and others. Social cognition applies to this situation because it explains how the negative climate of social media can lead to an increased amount of negative emotion. According to social cognition the way we perceive things and our surroundings is mostly because of the state that we are in. Our current mood that we are experiencing impacts the judgement of the people that we meet. This is applicable to negative emotion and social media because if we spend most of our time on social media where there is a constant exposure of disasters and negative news , you are more likely to perceive the reality and the world in a more negative way.

Another social psychology that applies to this situation is the two factor emotion theory. The two factor emotion theory states that in order to experience an emotion, two factors must be present: physiological arousal and the cognitive interpretation of that arousal. First, physiological arousal must take place such as perspiration, heavy breathing or the racing of one’s heart. Then, after physiology, a person must make an interpretation of that arousal to explain the why that arousal took place. Most of the time the cognitive interpretation is done based on the reactions to the arousal made by other people. Previous studies performed by IAAP show that in a case study with 512 college students , results from a regression analysis show that a higher level of social media use is associated with a worsen mental health. The increased exposure to the disaster news from social media led to greater fear and depression for participants (Zhao & Zhou, 2020).

The two-factor emotion theory is applicable to the rise of negative emotion and social media because both of these factors are present in enabling the negative emotions. First the physiological arousal in this situation is the fear, anxiety and panic that people are feeling. The physical feeling of loneliness, sadness and anger are the arousal element of the emotion, primarily caused by the isolation during the pandemic. In addition to people feeling the physiological arousal they are sharing what they are feeling on social media, where people from around the world can interact with. Second, and the most important in validating those negative feelings is the cognitive interpretation of this arousal. The arousal in hand is the negative emotion felt by people and the cognitive interpretation is being derived from the people on social media. As more people share their stories and struggles, others also react to and engage with the similar negative feeling being felt. This results in validating the negative emotion but at the same time creating a climate of negativity throughout social media.

Pérez-Fuentes, M., Jurado, M., Martínez, Á, & Linares, J. (2020). Threat of COVID-19 and emotional state during quarantine: Positive and negative affect as mediators in a cross-sectional study of the Spanish population. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from

Zhao, N., & Zhou, G. (2020, September 17). Social Media Use and Mental Health during the COVID‐19 Pandemic: Moderator Role of Disaster Stressor and Mediator Role of Negative Affect. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from

Misinformation and Social Media during COVID-19

Social media has played a major role in growing businesses, exchanging information, and improving the quality of communication. The various platforms of social media have allowed us to communicate and keep in touch with each other no matter the distance. It has evolved from being an entertainment accessory to a fully integrated part of society. With the widespread information that social media possesses, it also possesses the power of spreading false information. Over the years many people have shifted from getting their news from traditional tv channels to getting their news from social media platforms.

The sudden emergence of the new contagious virus COVID-19 has also led to a pandemic of misinformation. Since the coronavirus pandemic, people have been forced to stay at home and quarantine which has led to an increase in the amount of time spent on social media. Surveys were performed to show that US social media users’ time using social media increased by 1-2 additional hours per day because of the lockdown (Clement, 2020). Social media holds an immense and dangerous amount of power in how we recognize our surroundings. 

The increased amount of time being spent on social media makes people inclined to follow the advice of non-medical experts and follow misguided theories or sketchy home remedies for COVID-19. According to a study done by McGill University, people who tend to receive their daily news from social media are more likely to believe falsehoods about coronavirus and be the ones who are not practicing social distancing. This effect of social media has increased significantly during the pandemic because people are looking for guidance and recommendations but many are reliant on their social media apps to provide them with that. The same study talks about how, on the other hand, the people who watch traditional news and get their daily news from tv channels, are more likely to follow the public health recommendation (Bridgman et al., 2020). Our perception of daily lives is not what there is, rather we are influenced by what we expose ourselves to. This leads us to question why as humans we choose to believe the news on social media or why social media news and traditional news impact us differently.

Social psychology concepts that explain this phenomenon are availability heuristics and confirmation bias. Availability heuristics is a tendency to estimate that odds will occur by how easily an instance pops into your mind. It is our estimate of the likelihood that is mostly influenced by what is readily available in memory. We tend to use heuristics a lot especially on the internet and social media because it is easier than making complex analyses of large amounts of information. Since most of the people’s time is spent on social media, during the pandemic they are receiving all their information from social media. The availability heuristic is based on ease of retrievability and recall which means they are recalling information they saw on social media. A study done on availability heuristics showed that the participants who were introduced to availability cascades imitated others because they took the “simple availability of information as an indication of reliability and relevance” (Wilczek, 2020). For example, this can occur in our daily lives through social media platforms. On these platforms, the chains and threads of remedies for COVID can play a role in triggering the availability heuristic. Since that is the type of post you are most likely to interact with, you are more likely to remember them and as a result, believe them as real news. Even though they have no scientific support for them. This is why the power of social media on our perception is dangerous because it can lead to people recalling false information and as a result risking their lives and others’ lives. 

Another social psychology that applies to this theme is the concept of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for , interpret and recall information in a way that strengthens your prior opinions and beliefs. Since social media perceives how we perceive information confirmation bias solidifies the information that we are receiving from social media platforms. It is looking at the same thing as someone else but interpreting the meaning of it completely differently to fit your beliefs. An example of this would be as if you were to look at the recent events, even leaders and scientific figures promoted the safety measures and lockdown needed to be taken some people perceived it as a logical action whereas others perceived some information as oppression to their freedoms. A case study done by the Mayo clinic shows a similar effect of confirmation bias taking place. For a clinical study done on the use of hydroxychloroquine, the results generated claims about the efficacy of the drugs for the patients of COVID. This was highly the reason because of confirmation bias since the study was considered a “flexibilization” of science and not enough peer reviews took place. The effect of confirmation bias steered scientists to collect evidence that fit their narrative and beliefs (Oliveira, 2020).

Social media and misinformation go hand in hand. Even though social media brings a plethora of information it can also be the same source of false information that can lead to risking people’s lives in a worldwide pandemic.


Bridgman, A., Merkley, E., Loewen, P. J., Owen, T., Ruths, D., Teichmann, L., & Zhilin, O. (2020). The Causes and Consequences of COVID-19 Misperceptions: Understanding the Role of News and Social Media. doi:10.31219/

Clement, J. (2020, June 19). U.S. increased time spent on social due to coronavirus 2020. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from

Oliveira, L. (2020). Flexibilization of Science, Cognitive Biases, and the … Retrieved December 9, 2020, from

Wilczek, B. (2020). Misinformation and herd behavior in media markets: A cross-national investigation of how tabloids’ attention to misinformation drives broadsheets’ attention to misinformation in political and business journalism. Plos One, 15(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0241389

The positive effect of social media while COVID.

This is the first pandemic that has impacted the world while this smart and technological generation, the first pandemic was registered in 2009 the flu or influenza pandemic. Certainly this did not impact as big as the Covid 19 but in its time that pandemic impacted the world by taking many lives. In this time the social media was just starting to become accessible for everyone but now with covid-19 society is documenting everything in the social media and this will be passed to history, people will be able to see how in real time we went through this. The Harris Poll conducted between late March and early May, found that between 46% and 51% of US adults were using social media more since the outbreak began. In the most recent May 1–3 survey, 51% of total respondents — 60% of those ages 18 to 34, 64% of those ages 35 to 49, and 34% of those ages 65 and up – reported increased usage on certain social media platforms. 

Facebook has had a great impact on promoting information while in this pandemic, with more than 2.500 millions of users worldwide just by a click or a hashtag of anything related to the coronavirus we could have access to all the information that is on this social media in relation to this topic. A great initiative that facebook took was the removal of many fake pages which spread made up information about the topic and many post with face information in relationship to this which allow many people to get information like test locations, to know the red areas in where the cases where worse and as well places where people could stay quarentening if they could not stay at their house and as well for those that were traveling. All of this information is placed on facebook from agencies and for ambassadors that try to maintain the people informed.

Social media platforms have been of great use while in this pandemic to maintain communication with family and friends and to reduce isolation and boredom which connect with anxiety and long term distress. As we all could have seen by this point that social media has become a place in where every celebration is being stream, graduations, weddings, gender reveal and birthdays all of this are being share in social media in an attempt to feel close to those that are in distance and in a way to share the same feeling with all of our loved ones even through screens. Childrens that were not able to go in presents to their graduations could still share the same moment with their friends over social media by a zoom call or in a facebook live, they could see each other faces and their professor that even though we feel this as minimum for them this is exciting because their routine was cut drastically and this affect them in a big way, this little moments of seen the people that they spend 5 or 8 hrs with is well needed for them.  Events like weddings now are being stream or people share the especial moment by the help of this social media, grandparents are meeting their grandchildrens by a facetime call or by a google meet or zoom meeting and even though this is not the normal for us is the only way that we have to still see those familiar faces and it is thanks to this social media and the whole society is depending totally to this to cut this distance that is not only 6 feets away but as well kilometers away for those that are not able to travel and meet with their families in this time. 

The social media have been of a lot of help to the people of the entertainment area, a lot of artists are making virtual concerts in order to keep their fans entertained and in order to keep their business and make money. A lot of artists have used places like facebook or instagrams to go live and perform for their public and others have used youtube to have a wider reach of people that will stream their music and videos without the need of infecting more people or gathering big groups together. With the amount of time in the house that people are spending, families are bonding more, video games and movies are being used more. The amount of games requested and play have increased in comparison to last year, not only people play with those that are in the house with them but as well they place with those that are far away which are not able to share their time together. This time of entertainment allows people to have a sense of normal and allows them to release stress and continuum the interaction between

This data shows the increase on the use of this social media within one year and how the post and the actions like live stream have increase or decrease in this year. The travel my have decrease but the publishing, government and health have increase. showing how much interaction this topics have gain over the year.


Positives outcomes of social media.

Just like we have seen with other crises, people all over the world reach out to each other through social media to make sense of what is happening. Since March Social media has been one of our best friends, while in this quarantine many of us only have the single social interaction of our families and others that were not able to be with their families had to spend this time alone. We have increased our forecast on mobile messaging and  time spent by US adults to grow by 4 minutes in 2020, to 24 minutes per day, not only due to the pandemic but also data showing strong engagement on messaging services like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Apple iMessage. The social media have been the only way to stay connected with the outside world, with our families and our friends, for some this has been the only way to connect with their work, their co-workers and it has been the greatest form of entertainment as well as the biggest platform of information. Social media has been a way to coope the reality of what was going on at that time and a way to maintain our self informed on how the world was doing and where people could find help. We could  think of the many funny videos about how people creatively deal with the lockdown, of the neighborhood Facebook groups that organize entertainment and practical support to help neighbors who need assistance with grocery shopping or childcare, and the quick rise of apps and functionalities that allow for live chat and video sessions with multiple people. A lot of people found psychology, teachers, and a lot of information about places where food could be delivered to home at times when some people were not able to look for their own food.

The role of social media during socially challenging times like today also adds a new angle to the long-standing debate about reinforcing vs. displacing effects of online communication on in-person connections. Whereas it has been established that social media use can reinforce and does not reduce in-person contact,  the COVID-19 outbreak underscores a different social compensatory role of social media. When in-person connections are displaced, not by social media, but by outside forces and disruptions such as the virus outbreak, online communication can provide a much-needed remedy for staying in touch and connected.While social media can undoubtedly help us maintain a sense of normalcy and social touch, this is not to say that its effects are unequivocally positive, and we can be on social media 24/7.Being mindful of this dualism, we should remember to take breaks from our digital devices and screens and engage in other meaningful activities in our lives, such as doing fun activities with our partners and families as challenging as it can be when families are cooped up together for weeks and spending time outdoors, to maintain a balance in our lives.

These positive outcomes could be related to the population following the Darley and Latane’s five steps, The first step is identifying and recognizing that there’s a problem in this case we as a society identify that the virus was a big problem that was affecting us.

Secondly, is the ability to interpret the conflict as an emergency, as a society we identify that this virus is an emergency and we start to share this information. Social media became a way to let everyone know how dangerous this virus is.

The third step is taking responsibility for helping, in this case we as a community can take responsibility for following the lock down that has been implemented and avoiding spreading the virus or getting it. As well finding ways in which we could assist those who are in a worse place than us. In this apps like Zoom, Facetime, instagram, whatsapp and Facebook among others apps help us to maintain distance and make the lock down 

In this instance, step four, deciding how to help in this case we as a society have been informed that in order to help we need to keep our distance from each other and use protection like gloves, mask and hand sanitizer in order to prevent getting sick. As well for elderly people a way to help 

Step 5 goes hand in hand with step four and is simply providing the assistance after you have decided the method in which you will help in this case it would be following the methods state in the step 4 and preventing going out unless needed in order to stop the spread which social media helped on this case by being the one providing the easy access for the society in order to allow the communication among distance, allowing people to buy in places like facebook and in order social medias by teaching people how to do things on their own restricting the need of other people to do this things.


Impact of COVID on relationships

As mentioned in other blog posts and the introduction to this blog, COVID not only has forced many into feelings of grief and loss, but has had a significant impact on various relationships. With limited face to face interaction due to lockdown restrictions put in place by government officials, people were more inclined to join various social media platforms in order to sustain their relationships and decrease feelings of loneliness.

Socializing with others is a fundamental human need, so being deprived of this socialization due to the forced isolation can have many adverse effects. Some of these include the feeling of being rejected by peers, becoming more aware of your individualism, but most importantly, many will feel a loss of a sense of community (Sikali, 2020). A social psychology concept that this can relate to is the need for affiliation. This can be defined as the desire to create and maintain all kinds of social relationships. The need humans possess for affiliation can directly be applied to maintaining relationships during COVID because many people who are breaking government guidelines on social distancing use the fact that we, as humans, are social beings and we have this innate desire to affiliate with others and maintain our interpersonal relationships to justify putting others at risk in order to fulfill that desire.

As a matter of fact, the need for affiliation is so strong, especially during the pandemic, that many who were initially opposed to dating applications have given themselves into trying these platforms. According to Business Insider, the organization Match Group, which owns many of the popular dating apps, have seen drastic increases in the amount of new users who signed up on one of their platforms, as seen in the image below (Meisenzahl, 2020).Through the use of these applications, people who match on these sites are being more exposed to one another than they normally would be if they were trying to date each other in person. Because of this, many find that their relationships formed over the internet are oftentimes stronger than the ones they form in-person. This phenomenon can be explained by the mere exposure effect. This effect shows that the more exposed you are to an individual/stimulus, the more positively you will feel towards that individual/stimulus. This can directly tie into relationships formed during COVID as many have lost their jobs and have more free time on their hands to interact with their friends/family, thus causing them to be more liked by those friends/family and also resulting in them being more liked by their friends/family. This can even be applied to online dating as interactions over the internet are usually much more frequent than those in person, resulting in you being more exposed to a particular individual, which would result in you being more liked by the other individual according to the mere exposure effect. A very notable example of this effect at work is the Kardashians – initially, many people felt that the fame of the family was undeserved, however, by constantly seeing the Kardashians on social media and television, it forced many of those individuals to have a more favorable impression of the Kardashians, seeing them as so much more than the incident that made them famous.

In a peer reviewed study, the correlation between the strength of interpersonal relationships during distressing times (such as COVID and quarantine), researchers found that this pandemic is associated with an improvement in the strength of all kinds of interpersonal relationships, except for intimate ones, where the lockdown restrictions was seen to have no significant effect on the strength of the relationship. The increase in psychological distress due to quarantine had a negative association for improvement in partnerships, but had a positive association for improving relationships with friends and the local community (Goodwin et al., 2020). Although this study was conducted in China and may have different results if this were to be done in America, this is still a great study to reference in order to understand how COVID has impacted interpersonal relationships in different cultures.

The restrictions, though many may have failed to note, have an extremely strong underlying psychological message to fear others. Especially at the start of the pandemic where government officials reinforced numerous times on various news outlets the importance of social distancing and staying at home whenever possible, impressionable youth in particular may now have an irrational fear of being close to individuals because of the profound impact this pandemic has had on social relationships. Focusing more specifically on young children and young adults, social interactions are deemed by many as a basic human need and more specifically, physical contact is a vital part of social interactions; thus, by closing many educational institutions, it’s preventing many young individuals (children, adolescents, and young adults) from socializing with their peers and making quality connections, which would greatly stunt their personal growth as individuals. Many studies have reported countless times that many youth flourishes socially through making connections, which is an essential part of learning and growing as an individual (Sikali, 2020). This, in turn, would no doubt affect the young individuals’ ability to make long lasting relationships with others in the future.

Overall, while social media may have positively affected relationships, it has also caused much strain as many have been forced to transition their relationships online. Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with individuals when you are physically not allowed to do so, but it is nowhere near as great as the in-person contact that human beings require to survive. Many young adults (in particular) can experience symptoms of mental illnesses as a result of the forced isolation that came about from the restrictions placed during the pandemic to prevent/control the spread of COVID.


  1. Goodwin, R., Hou, W. K., Sun, S., & Ben-Ezra, M. (2020). Quarantine, distress and interpersonal relationships during COVID-19. General psychiatry33(6).
  2. Meisenzahl, M. (2020, August 05). These charts from Match Group show more people are turning to online dating during the pandemic. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from
  3. Sikali K. (2020). The dangers of social distancing: How COVID-19 can reshape our social experience. Journal of community psychology, 10.1002/jcop.22430. Advance online publication.

The role of social media in COVID-19

Social media, on an individual basis, is used for keeping in touch with friends and family. This, however, can be expanded to encompass using social media as a networking tool for career options, finding people across the globe with similar interests, and simply as a means to vent their frustrations/emotions. While these applications are still used for similar purposes today, they are most definitely used more frequently as a result of the forced isolation that came about from the pandemic. People who didn’t enjoy using social media and avoided it at all costs as a method of communication have reluctantly given into trying these platforms to stay in touch with their loved ones. Whether it is via the direct messaging features available on various apps or through posting pictures from their daily lives, people try to depict their lives in the best way possible on these virtual platforms. The way social media has been used prior to and during the pandemic has a strong relationship to the idea of the social self. 

Especially with the pandemic, social media has brought light to another layer of healthcare. Various healthcare providers created public accounts on these social media platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and etc. to provide information/updates about what is going on with the pandemic, social distancing guidelines, and updates about the vaccine. In a peer reviewed article published prior to COVID, the authors explored the various benefits and risks of being an active user on social media. Some of these benefits include increasing interactions with others, having more accessible information, social support, and having the potential to influence many policies related to health (Moorhead et al., 2013). Many of these healthcare providers whose following blew up during the pandemic have even branched out into making social media a side gig, taking monetary compensation for everything that they post, even collaborating with major companies to encourage people to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic. A good example is the user @lifeofadoctor on Tiktok, whose following grew exponentially after making daily/weekly updates on COVID statistics during the pandemic to encourage his followers to stay home. His following grew so much in that brief period of time that he was among one of the first few creators on TikTok to be a recipient of $1 billion creator fund.

However, the increased use of social media during the pandemic wasn’t completely without faults. It impacted the areas of an individual’s social self and the dynamic between various groups. A social psychology concept that can be applied to the use of social media is the self-discrepancy theory. This theory states that individuals compare their “actual” selves to their “ideal” self and if there are any inconsistencies between the two, it causes immense discomfort in the individual. This can specifically apply to how social media is used as it further encourages people to compare their “actual” selves to their “ideal” selves depicted on platforms. While trying to depict their life in the best way possible, people may start to see themselves in two different ways (their “actual” self in real life versus their “ideal” self-depicted in social media) and because of this, a lot of discomfort may arise within individuals as they may feel a strong urge to be their “ideal” self, but it may not be realistic to the type of lifestyle they currently live. A study conducted in 2006 explored the relationship between self-discrepancy in terms of body image and how this affects participation in social comparison. It found that women who had high levels of self-discrepancy were more likely to compare themselves to others from being exposed to the thin-ideal, and they found that these comparisons can result in self-inflicted negative consequences (Bessenoff, 2006).  This effect may be amplified in teenagers who see the “idealized” view of many of their favorite celebrities/peers and start to believe that everyone is portraying their “actual” selves instead of their “idealized” selves, which can be very damaging to their self-esteem. All influencers, at one point or another, can be accused of doing so. It would be hard to find a celebrity that posts the negative events going on in their lives and not showing a glamorized view of what they do on a daily basis.

This can also tie into how social media is used to boost an individual’s self-esteem as many use social media to depict the highlights of their life, completely neglecting to post the negatives. With this close to ideal depiction of one’s self on social media, it can cause many to comment on how great you look and how great your life is, which can directly affect (and boost) someone’s self-esteem. People depict themselves on social media the way they think they are seen by others or the way they want to be seen, which can be very problematic for the younger generation that are frequenting these platforms, giving them unrealistic expectations of what they should look like and how life is. A good example of this is the supermodel Gigi Hadid – she is rarely found depicting the hardships of motherhood, it was only until recently that she even posted pictures of herself being pregnant. Similarly, another influencer on social media who has a particular presence on there is James Charles. He is mainly seen on Instagram wearing glamorous makeup looks and living a lavish lifestyle, but when the paparazzi catches him, he can be seen without makeup and shows that there is much more to him apart from his makeup looks.

Despite the negative effects that social media may have on self-esteem, it can also be used to enhance one’s own self-image. In a study conducted by Gonzalez and Hancock in 2011, they found that, interestingly enough, increasing the exposure to information on your own Facebook profile can enhance self-esteem, especially when an individual selectively-self presents themselves on the internet (Gonzalez and Hancock, 2011).

Another concept of social psychology that can be applied to the use of social media, especially amongst teenagers, is the Common Ingroup Identity Model that was developed by Gaertner and Dovidio. The model suggests that if members of various groups can recategorize themselves as members of a more superior group, the intergroup relations can drastically improve. This can specifically apply to social media in the sense that people all over the world have various attitudes towards other members of other racial and socioeconomic groups and social media can expose people to others who they would not normally interact with, allowing them to find some common/shared identities with members of the outgroup, which would further initiate the formation of other new, more superior groups that are based primarily on shared interests/beliefs. For example, my brother, being stuck at home, ventured out to different social media platforms where he was exposed to people that he typically did not interact with on a daily basis prior to the pandemic, and actually ended up developing a different perspective on racial minorities as he found many individuals who fit into that group that he shared a common identity with.

Interestingly enough, although many thinks that the increase in the use of social media may be temporary and that once the pandemic is over, the new users would stop using these platforms, eMarketer actually predicts the opposite. Using data collected from the Harris Poll, they found that approximately half of the respondents reported using social media more frequently than they ever had before (seen in image below) and made inferences about how these platforms would be used in the future in a world post-pandemic. Those who, during the pandemic, learned how to use all types of video platform services are more likely to continue doing so even when lockdown restrictions are lifted. Additionally, eMarketer predicts that the amount of time we will spend on messaging platforms will also increase by approximately four minutes. Lastly, they note that US adults will probably spend about seven more minutes a day on social media, but they expect this to decline in 2021 once the pandemic is controlled (Samet, 2020).


Overall, while social media may initially seem like a great way to keep in touch with loved ones while maintaining the social distancing rules across the globe, it can also bring about many negative effects and challenges. People may feel more comfortable behind a phone/computer screen and take advantage of this comfort by cyberbullying their peers and influencers. According to a peer-reviewed study done this year exploring the role of social media during COVID, they found that this comfort may also result in individuals exploiting public opinions and committing other hate crimes that they would not have the courage to do otherwise in person. For example, there are many individuals who comment hateful things on many celebrities’/influencers’ social media accounts, but if they saw the celebrity in person, they would pretend to be a fan. Furthermore, many rely on the Internet for the latest news and updates in the world and social media has started to evolve into sharing information about important current events, but many users on social media can “troll” on the platform by disseminating misinformation. The spread of misinformation can easily result in mass hysteria about current events (Sahni & Sharma, 2020). Lastly, while social media may boost one person’s self-esteem, it may destroy an impressionable individual’s own self-esteem with the hopes of achieving an unattainable reality depicted.


  1. Bessenoff, G. R. (2006). Can the Media Affect Us? Social Comparison, Self-Discrepancy, and the Thin Ideal. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30(3), 239–251.
  2. Gonzales, A. L., & Hancock, J. T. (2011). Mirror, mirror on my Facebook wall: Effects of exposure to Facebook on self-esteem. Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking14(1-2), 79-83.
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